NORMAN, Okla. — Listen closely to Trey Metoyer and you’ll realize he doesn’t say much.
Instead of offering information, Metoyer speaks in cliches. Instead of sprinkling in some personality, Metoyer communicates only in vague generalities, applicable to any player, on any team, in any sport.
“I’m doing whatever I need to do.”
“We’re taking it one game at a time.”
“We’re going to give it 100 percent.”
“I want to have my mind right and be focused and give it all I got.”
Metoyer articulated up all of the above, in a 10-minute session, contributing to the August of the unknown at Oklahoma – a month worth of practices where no one outside of those wearing Sooner coaching gear has any idea what’s going on.
We don’t know whom the Oklahoma quarterback will be. We don’t know what kind of defense the Sooners will run, which running backs will start, how the new assistant coaches are fitting in or even how good the band will be.
And we have no clue what Metoyer will do, either.
No wonder Metoyer is more guarded than “Breaking Bad” lead Walter White.
And I don’t blame him, because after what happened a season ago – from the time he arrived on campus after spending a year at a military institute after high school, and after his first season – there’s a lot of mystery surrounding one of the top high school players in the country.
And that explains why what he conveys is clearly a lot less than he knows.
Metoyer showed up at OU with the amount of hype you’d expect from being named the No. 2 wide receiver in the country and the No. 2 overall player in Texas by one scouting service. According to coaches, Metoyer didn’t drop a single pass in 14 spring practices a season ago. His first competition – the 2012 annual Red-White Spring Game – Metoyer caught six passes and led all receivers with 72 yards and led all players in praise. He was the talk of the town and the, “I can’t wait to see him next season,” kind of player.
That kind of performance didn’t just fuel the hype, it intensified it. OU coaches went with the old, “I told you so” approach and promised big things for the freshman from Whitehouse, Texas, making what happened next more confusing than the first day of Algebra class.
What happened next was the 2012 season.
“As far as me playing, no, I wasn’t surprised,” Metoyer said. “It was a learning process.”
Metoyer called it a process, but the rest of us expected production. Instead of continuing down the path the coaches assured us all Metoyer was on, he wound up with just 17 catches for the season and only 10 in the last 12 games. Not exactly the kind of season anyone expected.
Now, a season later, Metoyer is just right in line with the rest of the team. No one has any clue about what might happen, despite coaches suggesting everyone is sure looking good this offseason.
The good news is, Metoyer will have every opportunity to be a star and show what happened in 2012 was not the kind of thing that will happen again.
Gone are receivers Kenny Stills and Justin Brown. Metoyer will have chances. According to Metoyer, he’s worked in the offseason and beyond with senior receiver Jalen Saunders, trying to pick up different things, trying to get ahead.
Trying to get back to the kind of player coaches said he’d be.
“I have another attitude and my mindset is different,” Metoyer said. “More positive. I feel like I’m going to give it all I got. I want to come in with my mind right and be focused and give it all I got. I feel like I’m ready now.”
And that’s about as candid as Metoyer will get, presenting optimism while tempering assumption. He probably expected so much more a season ago. Coaches certainly did, but sometimes past results don’t lead to future success.
So, after what happened in 2012, it’s the right course of action for Metoyer. Keep quiet, even in the face of dozens of media folks looking for an oasis in what has been a drought of summertime information.
Because sometimes you don’t know what will happen.
Sometimes, it’s just better to not let anyone too close or say too much.